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tv   Second Look  FOX  June 19, 2011 11:00pm-11:30pm PDT

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tonight what's the real story behind the top secret u.s. facility known as area 51. and how is that site tied to the roswell. straight ahead on a second look. hello everyone i'm frank somerville. in the nevada desert it's one of the most famous mis mystery
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places in the world. although it doesn't reportedly exist. some believe it's where the air force takes ufos when they crash land here on earth. others believe it's where the air force builds their own flying saucers. the men who worked on them have finally been able to share their stories. much of the metology of area 51 grew as the intelligence department looked for ways to keep an eye on secret missionings. the public essentially filled in the blanks.
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often with fanciful stories of space aliens. as bob mackenzie told us in this record in 2001, it was all part of a time when americans were living in fear. >> reporter: in 1945, world war ii ended at last. the troops came home, the economy boomed, and americans spread out into the suburbs to enjoy the peace and prosperity they had fought for. then just four years later, the soviet union tested an atomic bomb. americans were shocked and scares. the government launched a media campaign to prepare the public for a nuclear attack. >> in the two story house on main and elm streets, the mannequin family waits 2,500 feet from atomic destruction. marching miles,1500 gis take cover. >> reporter: needles to say there wasn't much left of the
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mannequin family. civil defense officials estimated americans would have six or seven hours notice to evacuate their cities if the soviets sent nuclear bombers. the plan was for at least a million bay area citizens to head north toward marin, napa an sonoma county. at the veteran's home you can still see a concrete building constructed in the 50s with a basement containing what's left of a california state command and control center. communications gear of all kinds, maps of all the california county, lists of the shelters in town, all gather dust now. the governor of the state could presumably hunker down and direct rescue and shelter operations throughout the state. provided of course that there were still personnel out there to carry out the orders. but when the soviets developed a rocket capable of taking out
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a small satellite, the fear took over in earnest. the russians did not only have a bomb, but they could deliver it in 20 minutes. that was the end of evacuations. kids had tests almost on a daily basis. as americans learned to duck and cover, they would have to move to a safe spot. some people built their own fall out shelters in their basements, some with all of the
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comforts of home. suddenly millions wanted one. kitty brit was a young woman with a husband in the army. when people wanted a shelter, she thought it was funny. >> when you go out in your hidden place, and go out to see the world. the world is going to be dead. so when you poke your head, deadsville. right. nothing. so if you want to see that, i don't understand that, i would rather go as i said it before. i would rather go when the bomb went off. >> reporter: she says some of her neighbors talked about buying guns. >> and if the man who lives next door, max next door decides to come over. no way max, we haven't got room for you. >> so people would actually get guns for that. >> reporter: there's no nuclear shelter program in the u.s. it died a few years before the soviet union collapsed and the cold war went away. still to come on a second look, it is perhaps the most famous ufo story in history.
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the saga of roswell, new mexico. and a bit later the u2 spy plane dropped in area 51 in nevada. >> follow second look on facebook and twitter. p selling. ♪ i want to sell more crabs. [ male announcer ] you know where you want to take your business. i want to design more buildings. [ male announcer ] in here, small business solutions from at&t can get you there. like the at&t all for less package, starting at just $70 per month, voice plus broadband. it's the at&t network. helping you do what you do... even better.
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one of the most famous ufo stories happened in 1947 in roswell, new mexico. witnesses reported finding the strange remains of a space craft. what they found was a balloon designed to pick up the sounds of a secret mission. >> reporter: it was the late 40s, and from secret sites in the new mexico desert, postwar america tested her new weapon technology. rockets, missiles and of course the ultimate weapon. at the same time a rash of so
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called saucer sightings swept the nation. and unnamed things flashed through the new mexico sky. >> there were all sorts of mysterious things were going on there. >> reporter: around the clock desert alert to photograph ufos. >> we had a special ring on the phone. of beep beep beep beep that would ring. then you would get out of bed and rush then to find. >> reporter: in those days only the u.s. had the atom bombs. they worried ufo's were russian spy crafts. >> you see what people have called ufos. >> i have seen them several times but they come from below the horizon.
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i haven't seen these things with flashing lights, and blue lights and green people. the ufo's comes at tremendous speed and suddenly changes direction to opposite from where it came. seen these things. >> reporter: you've seen those things? things that he to this day says he cannot explain. witnesses reported an unidentified flying object in the night sky. this was after a rash of reported ufo sightings nationwide. a rancher found something crash in the ravine about 40 miles west of roswell. the b29s and the 509 bombardment group, the commander dispatched their
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intelligence officer to the crash site. then this news went out across the country. >> army officers say the missell found sometime last week has been inspected in roswell, north carolina and send to ohio for further inspection. >> this man named jesse marcell now deceased was the investigator. he later said he showed saucer debris to his family shortly after he found it. his son, now a doctor, describes what he saw. >> there was a black plastic type debris which was shattered and was really brittle material. then there were fragments of what occurred to be -- >> but the military quickly changed it saucer story saying it was a weather balloon and
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reflector. years later, marcell would tell a reporter he was coerced into a cover up. channel2 has obtained mayor marcell's file. he also said he was a pilot with several thousands hour flight time, records show he was a map maker and occasional passenger on flight missions. he claimed to have received five medals for combat fighting. there was no record of that. he also claimed to have a masters degree, his records show only in physiology, his record only shows one year of
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college. at the time that was america's number one intelligence objective. >> flying disk debris, aluminum file, rubber, paper and sticks was identified as remnants of weather balloons. >> reporter: the so called cover ups, warnings to citizens not to talk, official lies at the time about the debris could be explained as the military's attempt to protect a secret project. major marcel was a decorated combat veteran and respected intelligence officer for the b29 squadron. but he was unaware of the newly invented polyathelene foil. which to him might have appeared like out of this world. weather you call it the e2 or re2 it is a real challenge
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to fly. and later, we'll take you on the oxcart and tell you why it may have touched off ufo sightings. ♪ let's go out to the dmv
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no blackout dates, and no red tape. ♪ tonight we seek the truth about a secret facility called area 51. now decades later the u.s. government has begun to declassify information about some of the secret aircraft it developed at area 51. one of those was the u2 spy plane designed to take pictures of the soviet union while literally flying at the edge of outer space. the public knew nothing about the u2 until russia shot one of them down. the u.s. government was forced toacknowledge its existence. >> a flight over the soviet
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territory was under taken by a civilian u2 plane. one of the planes crashed shortly after take off killing the pilot. another one crashed in afghanistan in 2005. pilots say they are particularly difficult planes to fly and in 1997 ktvu's john fowler found out why. >> reporter: it thunders, its wheels fall off then it flies to the edge of space. you should see how it has to land. it's discovering secrets in the stratosphere. one of its final flights, a risky north pole mission to measure a worrisome decline in the protective ozone layer. >> so we sent him to about 65 to 70,000 feet which is roughly 20-kilometers which is roughly
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where the ozone layer, the stratosphere layer actually is. >> reporter: pilot 54-year-old jim barrio flew all seven polar flights and knew failure of the plane would mean rescuers could not get to him before he froze to death. >> in any job there is risk for things worthwhile. so you do the best you can, you follow hard, you're grateful you don't have to do it every day. and go out and do the job. >> reporter: a former reconnaissance pilot, barrio lead a group of high altitude planes that fly these glider planes. >> it does the job of flying to high altitude and remaining below the speed of sound better than any other aircraft on the planet. but there are a lot of design
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compromises made in accomplishing that goal. >> reporter: compromising to control weight. for instance there are no gauges, the pilot gauges fuel by feel. it's the only modern jet without power steering, arm strength moves the control. when it takes off the wheels fall off so reduce its weight still. so the plane has to land at an airport with special equipment. >> the troubles are just beginning when you touch down. >> reporter: pilots sometimes have to drag a wing just to keep going straight. since its dropped a wheel, a crew of mechanics scurries out to meet the plane. one stand on the roll way and a pilot drops a wing tip on its hand while others reattach its wheels so it can taxi.
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it can turn around and refly in just hours. the er2 reigns supreme. >> the view can be spectacular. you can see a slight curviture to the horizon. >> reporter: you can scan from oregon to los angeles. nasa spent a lot of money this year, the exact amount is classified. scientists say it's unique capabilities are crucial to understanding of the atmosphere. it's ozone depletion research measured a new ozone hole developing this spring over the north pole. barrios says eo2 can last another 20 years or so and that's in the entire planet's best interest to keep them flying. could this
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we continue our second look tonight of planes developed in area 51 in the nevada desert. it's a place where lockheed developed a secret plane in the early 1960s. the aircraft was code named ox cart also designated the r12 article. test pilot lou shall took the a12 on itself first flight. he recorded his recollections of that historic day. >> hold the aircraft to the runway with the breaks. you are up to military power and hit the burners.
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>> with titanium skin, it's easy to see how airline pilots reported seeing a ufo. when he landed, he would receive a visit from the fbi asking him to sign a report. most were retired in the 1990. john fowler had a look at this amazing plane. >> reporter: where they go, how fast, how high all that is secret. but what they do everyone
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knows. they spy. the military calls it reconnaissance. taking pictures, recording radio signals and doing a risky dance with unfriendly air defenses which what they call ringing the fire alarms. as old as conflict itself, this need to know what the other side is doing stunned u.s. america. spy planes started flying over russia recording soviet installations and troop movement. the cameras gave spy planes renewed respectability. but the jet glider is now vulnerable. as the pentagon knew it would be. the air force has now been
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working on this new air. they would fly higher and faster than ever before. out of reach of ground missells and now more importantly out of view. >> i don't think it was purposely done in the 60s. it worked out that way. >> reporter: but there are many features intentionally designed into this airplane to make it difficult to detect. the round edges, in fact, there's not a square corner any where on this airplane. the engine set deep down inside a specially shielded compact. >> we have defenses on board. >> reporter: but no guns, their only weapon almost unbelievable speed.
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>> like a locomotive going as fast as the speed. it's like flying an airplane. very delicate, very demanding, very tricky. >> reporter: so tricky on one spy flight the sr suddenly pitched nose up as it sometimes wants to do and at 2,000-miles- an-hour ripped itself to tinfoil. remarkably both crew men survived. that wasn't the only crash although details of all remain classified. the estimated cost runs to a staggering nearly $1 million an hour just to repel two men with cameras into harm's way. and about an hour before each sr71 flight whether from beal or any of the other secret
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bases, smoky planes have to go up into the air. they go to the relatively same place as the sr71, although slower. all require rendezvouses for refueling. done in radio silence to keep the secretiveness. unless there's weather problems. the hr is range limitless and must take on tons of fuel. in fact, two tankers always go in case there's a problem. all this is basically 1960s technology and adds to today's cost, subtracts from secrecy. >> we can come in, any time day or night. >> reporter: but as the
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maintenance nighttime grows. the cut backs weaken and the intelligence gaps widen. the u.s. is bringing it down. >> and that's all the time we have for second look. i'm frank somerville. we see you again next week. dad, i was wondering if you've -- what's up? oh, what's wrong with your hair? oh. i was cruising the world-wide-web. found this do. what are you wearing? dope, right? it's got a hood. want one? boom. done. [ ding! ] [ boy ] lookin' good mr. g. thanks, bro-seph. are you video chatting? with my boyfriend? yeah! hey, tessa! mom! [ mocking tone ] mom. [ male announcer ] now everyone's up to speed. high speed internet is more affordable than ever


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